Over the past year or two Aman Ellis, and his current project AIMES, has been an increasingly apparent name in our rotation. With not only a heap of choice remixes for artists such as Little Dragon, Les Professionels, Candide, and Boxes of Wolves, but also an impressive output of amazing original singles and EPs — from Time For Us to Give It To Me, and On Holiday to Burnin', we're always looking forward to what he releases. AIMES aptly incorporates a myriad of influences and styles into his productions, with Nu Disco, House, Italo, Synth-Pop and more making up his distinctive sound.
We've had the pleasure to work closely with Aman, helping do our small part in shedding light on his fantastic work. Recently we had the opportunity to sit down and ask him some questions, and were able to hear more about new releases and his own label Wonder Stories, the flourishing scene down in Mexico, his favorite music to travel with and more. He's also put together a journey of a mix for us that's sure to take you to some interesting places, as well as give you a sneak peek at some unreleased jams. Get weird with AIMES below.
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1 • AIMES — Tunnel Down (Brassica Remix) [forthcoming Rothmans] 2 • AIMES — Burnin' ft. Javi (Rocco Desentis Remix) [forthcoming Wonder Stories] 3 • Chamboche — The Show Must Go On (Moscow Remix) 4 • Capracara — King of the Witches 5 • Coyote — Passing Memories 6 • Bottin — All For One 7 • Future Feelings — Ain't Easy 8 • Mongolian Jet Set — Smells Like Gasoline 9 • Karl Kling — Deep In the House of Love (Jeffrey Jerusalem Remix) 10 • AIMES — Harmonique Cosmique (AM Version) [forthcoming Wonder Stories] 11 • Land Shark — Tie Me Up (PBR Streetgang Remix) 12 • Eli Escobar — Madonna and the Devil
Caveman Sound: So tell us about this mix you’ve put together for us...
Aman Ellis: I put this mix together to showcase a bit of the more left-field tracks I’ve been playing in my sets lately. Sometimes it’s fun to see how far into weirdness you can push the crowd and still have them stay with you. I’ve found that at about the 3rd hour, people are ready to get a bit weird. As long as you keep it melodic and groovy, people will be into it. I think a lot of time, people appreciate a detour into wonkyness. I also threw in a few tracks from releases I have coming out in the near future.
CS: Let’s talk about your latest single Burnin’, which came at us with the fire of 1,000 suns. How did you get connected with Javi and what went into the creation of that track?
AE: Ha. It was such a pleasure working with Javi. He has an amazing voice and most of the vocals lines you hear in the track were just one take. He’s a super talented guy. We met when I remixed a track he did with Soft Touch called Real Love. I really liked his vocals on that and I guess he dug my remix, so we decided to try out a collaboration. For Burnin’ I had the track pretty much done, with a few, simple lyric ideas. We got together at Red Bull Studios in NYC and just hit record. We knew the tag was ‘Burnin’’ but everything else he improvised.
CS: And there’s a remix package coming out pretty soon here, right? Can you tell us anything about that?
AE: Right. I’m really excited about it, all the remixes are excellent. We have remixes from Auxiliary tha Masterfader, Rocco Desentis, Tronik Youth, Copycat, and Perdido Key. I’m a big fan of all their work, and it’s great to be able to collaborate with such awesome producers. It’s coming out December 8th via Wonder Stories.
CS: You mentioned Wonder Stories, your own label and blog. What’s that all about?
AE: Wonder Stories has been going for a couple years now, but I’m just now getting a bit more serious about it. It grew out of a party I used throw in NYC with my pal Alan Blancato. It’s purely an outlet for our and our friend’s music. We also do monthly guest mixes as a way to showcase artists we’ve been digging. I guess the ethos for Wonder Stories would have to be to keep it simple. There’s no grand aspirations for the label, really, we just want an outlet for ourselves where we can make all the decisions. It’s the F.U.B.U of labels haha. For us, by us.
CS: Your tracks have a variety of influences, does your production approach vary or do you have a particular process?
AE: Yea, the approach is the same for the most part. I try to divide things into their appropriate categories and stick to it. I’ll start with composition, then arrangement, sound design, and finally mixing and mastering. I think the style of the track comes from what mood I’m in and also what I’ve been listening to lately.
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CS: It seems like there’s been a big influx of shows and festivals happening down in Mexico, and we’ve noticed you play down there often – not to mention you're living in Mazatlan for a bit right now. What is it about the country and scene that holds such a draw?
AE: The Mexico music scene is thriving. Mexicans are very passionate about music, especially underground / indie music. I think that’s why artists enjoying playing here. They will always get a warm reception and responsive crowd. I’ve had some amazing shows down here and it’s always a good time.
CS: There’s nothing better than having great tunes to explore a new city or place with. What’s your favorite album / EP / music to travel to?
AE: Great question. I’d have to say anything by Prins Thomas, and anything on Full Pupp. The music already has kind of an otherworldly quality to it, so it’s perfect for new places an experiences. Needless to say its great music to zone out on a plane with.
CS: Your music is the soundtrack to what city?
AE: Hard to say, I grew up on the coast so I think there’s always going to be a bit of laid back vibey-ness to it, but also a degree of mania, which comes from living in NYC. Whatever city it is, it’s definitely on the coast.
CS: 2015’s right around the corner, who are your top artists to keep an eye on?
AE: We’ve got an EP coming out on Wonder Stories in 2015 from some hot new up-and-comers Perdido Key. They make left-field house/techno built for the dance floor, and we're really excited about their EP. Also I’ve been digging stuff from Alejandro Paz, Kalidasa, Mijo, and Thomass Jackson, to name a few. Looking forward to the new Chordashian as well.
CS: Speaking of the new year, what’s on the horizon for you?
AE: Well, in mid January I’m set to release an EP called Harmonique Cosmique. It’s sort of a concept EP, with one song designed for four different types of dance floors. There’s a Disco version, Late Night version, AM version, and Beach version.
Then there’s another EP coming in the Spring, which is more song-oriented and features Javi on the lead track once again. Stoked for that.
A big thanks to Aman for swinging through for the chat. Get connected with all things AIMES via the links below!